Building energy management systems: overview and forecast

1Executive Summary

The building energy management system (BEMS) market is changing rapidly. Technological advances in building monitoring and control are opening the way to an era of huge volumes of data on building energy use and efficiency. Both new and existing vendors in the BEMS market are discovering innovative methods to capitalize on this information to help buildings operate more efficiently.

Although there has been a focus on energy efficiency in commercial buildings for some years, the BEMS market can still be considered nascent. The landscape of new entrants, new technologies, and new methodologies is expanding rapidly, and even well-established market leaders are finding new ways to present and market their businesses.

Definition of a building energy management system

Navigant Research defines a BEMS as:

“The software, hardware, and services associated specifically with the intelligent (i.e., information and communication technology, or ICT-based) monitoring, management, and control of energy, as well as the enhancement of a building’s efficiency of operations for commercial buildings on a regional or global basis.”

This definition and the forecasts presented here do not include the basic hardware components associated with the automation, monitoring, or control of building systems, such as heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC); submeters; thermostats; lighting; and so on. The BEMS hardware mentioned in the definition above covers the computer hardware necessary to run a BEMS software platform within an organization or enterprise.

An important distinction must be made between building management systems (BMSs) and BEMSs. BMS solutions can have energy-management-capability aspects, but they also include functionality like the monitoring of fire systems, security systems, and other mechanical building controls. BEMS offerings discussed in this report focus solely on functionality relating to energy efficiency and energy management. Still, the BMS and BEMS are related; a BEMS, for example, can utilize information gathered or monitored by a BMS when both types of systems are installed at a site.

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  1. A good summary overall. The perspective seems to be more from a ecosystem where major utility players are the only focus. Private grids / microgrids which are likely to become more common in the coming years may choose to play energy monitoring / metrics differently and perhaps nurture their own ecosystem partners.

    MP Divakar, PhD

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